UAW rejects GM contract proposal but makes a counter offer

GM forced to shut down Mexico pickup assembly, lay off 6,000 workers

The United Auto Workers union said a new comprehensive offer made by General Motors Co late Monday to end a two-week-old strike was not acceptable and said it had made a new counterproposal.

UAW vice president Terry Dittes said in a letter to members "there are many important issues that remain unresolved." The union is awaiting GM's next proposal. He said GM's offer came up short on many issues. 

Dittes said GM made a "comprehensive proposal" at 9:40 p.m. Monday. "This proposal that the company provided to us on day 15 of the strike did not satisfy your contract demands or needs. There were many areas that came up short like health care, wages, temporary employees, skilled trades and job security to name a few."

Dittes is the union's vice president for GM relations and the UAW's lead negotiator in these contract talks.

"We have responded today with a counterproposal and are awaiting GM's next proposal to the union," he wrote. "Regardless of what is publicized in print or social media, etc., there are still many important issues that remain unresolved."

The strike, in its third week, has cost GM more than $1 billion, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brickman. He said the cost per day in potential profit is $82 million. However, another analysis, by East Lansing-based consultant Anderson Economic Group, put the losses at $25 million a day.

And the effects of the strike are expanding. GM said Tuesday the strike has created a parts shortage that forced the automaker to halt production at its pickup and transmission plants in Silao, Mexico, temporarily laying off 6,000 workers. Silao is where GM builds its highly profitable four-door crew cab Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The strike has also forced GM to idle some Canadian workers, and many suppliers have been forced to halt operations.

About 48,000 UAW members went on strike on Sept. 16 seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the leading U.S. automaker’s profit and protection of their healthcare. 

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